The Airline Lady Vikings, Haughton Lady Bucs and Benton Lady Tigers are headed to the LHSAA state playoffs.
District 1-5A champion Airline (22-4), the No. 6 seed in Class 5A, will host No. 27 Hammond (11-13) in a Class 5A first-round game. Haughton (14-12), the No. 28 seed, travels to No. 5 Mandeville (22-5) in another Class 5A first-round game Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Benton (12-14), the No. 21 seed, is at No. 12 Buckeye (13-11).
All teams in Class 1A qualify for the playoffs, but they can opt not to participate. Plain Dealing chose to do that.
In regular-season finales Wednesday, Airline defeated No. 8 Alexandria Senior High 5-4 in 10 innings at ASH. Haughton downed Parkway 8-6 in a District 1-5A game.
At ASH, the game went into extra innings tied at 2.
Airline’s Makenzie Chaffin reached base on a two-out error in the top of the 10th. Jessica Baffuto fouled off four pitches before singling to center field.
Brooklyn Brandon followed with a two-strike single to center field, scoring Chaffin. After Maddie Ennis was walked intentionally to load the bases, Caroline Easom lined a two-strike single to center field, scoring Baffuto and Brandon and making it 5-2.
It turned out that Airline would need the runs. ASH pitcher Briahana Bennett, last season’s Cenla Player of the Year, smacked a two-run homer with one out.
But Airline freshman Raelin Chaffin induced a flyout and groundout to end the game.
Ennis went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Both RBI came on a single with two outs in the sixth inning which gave Airline a 2-1 lead.
Lexi Gray, Makenzie Chaffin and Jessica Grubbs all had hits.
The game featured outstanding pitching performances.
Chaffin allowed seven hits, struck out nine and walked six in the 10 innings. She threw 195 pitches.
Bennett allowed nine hits and one earned run. She struck out 16 and walked three. Bennett threw 176 pitches.
At Parkway, Lauren Edwards led Haughton with three doubles. McKayla Burkart went 2-for-4 with a triple.
Reagan Jorstad had a two-RBI double. Madison Trujillo and Leah Hopson also had doubles.
Burkhart’s triple and one of Edwards’ doubles came in the Lady Bucs’ seven-run fifth. Trujillo and Hopson also had their doubles in the inning.
Parkway’s Maecy Ingram went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Abbie Norcross went 3-for-4 with a solo home run. Faith Ingles had two hits, including a double, and three RBI. Makayla Strother went 2-for-4 with a triple.
Haughton finished 7-5 in District 1-5A. The Lady Bucs placed third behind Airline and Evangel.
Parkway finished the season 6-26 overall in head coach Mark Lambert’s first season. The Lady Panthers improved over the second half of the season, finishing 5-7 in district. Several of those district losses were close games.
NOTE: The above game reports are based on information on teams’ official GameChanger accounts.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org